Working with vulnerable people, syct

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Talk for Churches Together in South Yorkshire on working with 'vulnerable people' - exploring the meaning of vulnerability, what good support looks like and what the government is doing to the welfare state.

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Working with vulnerable people, syct

  1. 1. Working with ‘vulnerable’ peopleDr Simon Duffy ■ The Centre for Welfare Reform■ 29th April 2013 ■ Churches Together in South Yorkshire
  2. 2. The word‘vulnerable’must be usedwith care.
  3. 3. All of us are vulnerable.
  4. 4. Some of us may be somewhatmore vulnerable than others......but this is not because of ourdifferences.
  5. 5. It’s because of howour differences aretreated by others.
  6. 6. Three questions:1.What makes us vulnerable?2.What is good support?3.What is our current context?
  7. 7. 1. Vulnerability
  8. 8. The sources of ‘real wealth’
  9. 9. How vulnerability grows...
  10. 10. Lots of‘services’but do theyreally help?
  11. 11. Being mindful of citizenship
  12. 12. There are eight degrees of charity, one higher than theother. The highest degree, exceeded by none, is that ofthe person who assists a poor Jew by providing himwith a gift or loan or by accepting him into a businesspartnership or by helping him find employment - in aword, by putting him where he can dispense withother peoples aid. With reference to such aid, it is said,“You shall strengthen him, be he a stranger or a settler,he shall live with you” (Lev. 25:35), which meansstrengthen him in such manner that his falling intowant is prevented.Maimonides
  13. 13. 2. Support
  14. 14. Five things:1.Community development2.Rights & freedoms3.Peer support & facilitation4.Community focus5.Inner development
  15. 15. We have the gifts we need
  16. 16. We must be allowed to lead
  17. 17. Support is in relationship
  18. 18. Community is where we go
  19. 19. Trust restores the spirit
  20. 20. 3. Context
  21. 21. Three questions:1.What is government doing?2.Is the welfare state failing?3.How should we respond?
  22. 22. ‘Austerity’ is notthe problem.
  23. 23. The financial crisis was notcaused by welfare spending.It was caused by over-lending toindividuals to support excessivehouse price growth.It is a bubble politicians cannotafford to burst.
  24. 24. Then did all the grants and the subsidies, the benefits and thebargain offers pass over these poverty-stricken peasants whenIngolfur Angersons ideals came to fruition? What is one to say? Itso happens that it signifies little though a penniless crofter beoffered a grant from the Treasury towards the cost of tractors andmodern ploughs...The fact is that it is utterly pointless to make anyone a generousoffer unless he is a rich man; rich men are the only people who canaccept a generous offer. To be poor is simply the peculiar humancondition of not being able to take advantage of a generous offer.The essence of being a poor peasant is the inability to avail oneselfof the gifts which politicians offer or promise and to be left at themercy of ideals which only make the rich richer and the poorpoorer.Halldor Laxness
  25. 25. Even if cuts arenecessary - there isno need to targetcuts like this...
  26. 26. £72 billion of cuts
  27. 27. Most cuts fallin two areas:
  28. 28. Child Benefit freezeAbolition of Sure Start Maternity for secondand subsequent childrenChange to CPI indexation of benefits Reductions in support for carersReplacing DLA with PIPChild Benefit clawback from higher ratetaxpayersTime-limiting of contributory ESA Transfer of Social Fund to local governmentCouncil Tax Benefit – 10% reduction andlocalisationExtension of JSA lone parents with ayoungest child aged 5-6Housing Benefit cuts Household Benefit capAbolition of the Independent Living Fund Continued use of ATOS or othersUniversal Credit Reductions in ‘Access to Work’ fundingClosure of Remploy services Abolition of the Child Trust FundTax credit changes Abolition of the Health in Pregnancy GrantAbolition of the Child Trust Fund Abolition of the ESA youth rules
  29. 29. Is this welfarereform or a waron welfare?
  30. 30. The current situation is complexbecause many of us accept theneed for welfare reform......but reject the idea that thesechanges are real reforms.
  31. 31. The current system isconfusing and damaging...
  32. 32. but it’s not too generous...
  33. 33. it’s not riddled with fraud...
  34. 34. and it’s not unfair to the rich.
  35. 35. It’s also highly centralised.
  36. 36. Campaigning for something:www.campaignforafairsociety.org
  37. 37. Designing a better systemwww.centreforwelfarereform.org

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